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Volume 14, Issue #25, May 23rd


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Hi Folks,

Welcome to Friday and I hope you're ready for a nice Holiday Weekend. We've got the news and notes you need so let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Footballguys Google Hangout - Michael Crabtree Injury
Our Cecil Lammey and Jene Bramel discuss the fallout from the Michael Crabtree injury and what it means for him and other players.

B. Which QB Stats Are Most Repeatable?
Our Chase Stuart digs into the stat projecting business and looks at QBs and what stats they produce that we feel are repeatable.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. WAS - Robert Griffin says knee feels great
2. PHI - WR DeSean Jackson could excel in new offense
3. CLE - RB Trent Richardson could be held out for a while
4. KC - WR Dexter McCluster injures hamstring
5. NYJ - Players not backing QB Mark Sanchez?
6. SEA - WR Percy Harvin to be used in many ways
7. OAK - QB Matt Flynn restructures
8. CLE - RB Trent Richardson banged up
9. ARI - Ryan Williams admits he was scared to run
10. NYG - WR Hakeem Nicks unhappy with contract
11. WAS - WR Pierre Garcon underwent shoulder surgery
12. GB - QB high on WR Randall Cobb
13. PIT - Talking deal with WR Emmanuel Sanders
14. KC - TE Tony Moeaki won't return until July
15. IND - RB Delone Carter recovering from surgery
16. PHI - TE James Casey to be used in multiple spots
17. PHI - TE James Casey has surgery
18. DET - WR Nate Burleson has shed weight
19. DAL - Two battling for No. 3 WR job
20. ARI - CB Tyrann Mathieu signed

WAS - Robert Griffin says knee feels great

Source: The Washington Post - Mark Maske

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (knee) said his surgically repaired knee is feeling great and that he hopes to be ready for the start of training camp. He said he will begin explosive sprinting in a few weeks and will begin making cuts a few weeks after that. Griffin did do some running and throwing without hesitation during organized team activities Thursday, May 23.

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We've heard nothing but positive things about Griffin's recovery to this point. He's on track to be ready for the start of the regular season. However, the team may decide to limit his reps in training camp.

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PHI - WR DeSean Jackson could excel in new offense

Source: The Morning Call - Nick Fierro

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly confirmed that he prefers larger and taller players at most positions on his team, but he's in favor of protecting his smaller players like WR DeSean Jackson. Jackson touched the ball progressively less in each of his five NFL seasons in part because the team worried about keeping him healthy. Jackson only played in five games last year because of fractured ribs and only scored one touchdown. He hopes he can go back to being extremely productive in the team's new offense with larger players creating mismatches for their opponents. 'I'm challenging myself to be able to play every position,' said Jackson, who's been hinting all offseason that he could be lining up in the backfield as well. 'There might be a play or a different position where I normally would not line up or be in, but the leeway of the offense gives us the opportunity to go inside and outside and things like that, so I'm taking advantage of the opportunity to learn the whole offense and be in different spaces throughout the game.'

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Jackson could be featured in the Kelly system as a big play option on shorter routes. This gets rid of the ball quickly and lets Jackson do his damage with run after the catch ability. His current ADP is WR33 and he's coming off the board at 7.11.

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CLE - RB Trent Richardson could be held out for a while

Source: ESPNCleveland.com - Tony Grossi

Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski said RB Trent Richardson (leg) will not participate in organized team activities next week and could sit out the team minicamp in early June as a precaution. Chudzinski said Richardson suffered the injury earlier this week.

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Richardson struggled to stay healthy last year as a rookie and it kept him from playing up to his enormous potential. The team needs to get him as healthy as possible so he can play like the superstar he could be.

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KC - WR Dexter McCluster injures hamstring

Source: The Kansas City Star - Adam Teicher

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dexter McCluster (hamstring) suffered a hamstring injury during the organized team activities Thursday, May 23, and was not able to return.

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New Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said McCluster should be able to return to practice next week. It sounds like a minor injury but the team will monitor him closely as he deals with this hamstring problem. These types of injuries are known to linger if not treated properly.

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NYJ - Players not backing QB Mark Sanchez?

Source: NFL.com - Marc Sessler

An anonymous New York Jets player said that the team is skeptical about QB Mark Sanchez and his ability to be successful. 'Everyone on the team likes Mark personally, but there's a general feeling among some of the players that maybe it's time to give someone else a chance.' The player said 80 to 90 percent of the roster agrees with that statement. Sanchez is still trying to figure out the team's new West Coast offense.

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This if far from a vote of confidence for Sanchez. He's struggled in minicamp and may not be able to hold off rookie Geno Smith (West Virginia) for the starting job.

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SEA - WR Percy Harvin to be used in many ways

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks WR Percy Harvin will be used similarly to how he was used by the Minnesota Vikings, in a variety of ways. He'll likely line up in the slot as his regular position, but he'll also be utilized outside and could see handoff and kickoff returns. 'I'll be moving around - pretty much all around,' said the 5-foot-11, 184-pound Harvin. 'There'll be a little bit of running back coming up. But right now, we're just trying to get the foundation set, just running the base plays, and we'll see where it goes from there.'

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Adding Harvin was a brilliant move by the Seahawks. He offers an instant upgrade to the WR corps and should become the favorite target of QB Russell Wilson. We expect the team to move him around the field in order to create mismatches they can exploit.

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OAK - QB Matt Flynn restructures

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

The Oakland Raiders restructured QB Matt Flynn's contract and converted much of his $3.25 million base salary into a signing bonus. The move saved the team about $1 million against the salary cap.

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The Raiders are moving some money around since they signed CB Charles Woodson in free agency and they need to sign their draft picks. They will get additional cap relief when Michael Huff's contract clears on June 1st.

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CLE - RB Trent Richardson banged up

Source: Akron Beacon Journal - Nate Ulrich

Cleveland Browns RB Trent Richardson (leg) is not practicing Thursday, May 23, due to a pulled muscle near his shin.

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Richardson failed to stay healthy much of last year. He's constantly battling injuries but at least he's playing through them. Richardson can be a superstar if he can get (and stay) healthy.

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ARI - Ryan Williams admits he was scared to run

Source: NFL.com - Marc Sessler

Arizona Cardinals RB Ryan Williams admitted he was scared to run the ball last season on his surgically repaired right knee.

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Getting over an injury mentally perhaps is the biggest hurdle as players recover. Williams should feel better now that he's almost two years removed from that knee injury. He's competing with Rashard Mendenhall to be the team's starting running back. Head coach Bruce Arians has said he wants to find one back to be the team's bellcow in 2013.

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NYG - WR Hakeem Nicks unhappy with contract

Source: Yahoo! Sports - Jason Cole

New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks did not show up to practice Wednesday, May 22, because he is unhappy with his contract situation, a source indicated. Nicks did not violate any rules, since organized team activities (OTAs) are voluntary, but head coach Tom Coughlin was expecting him.

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Nicks may be in line for a new contract before Victor Cruz. We may see both get new contracts before the start of the regular season.

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WAS - WR Pierre Garcon underwent shoulder surgery

Source: The Washington Times - Rich Campbell

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon (shoulder) underwent minor labrum surgery in January but has fully recovered.

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The team held him out of OTAs as a precaution and this doesn't sound like a serious surgery. Garcon can be a top 20 fantasy WR if he stays healthy in 2013. His current ADP is WR24 and he's coming off the board at 6.02.

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GB - QB high on WR Randall Cobb

Source: ESPNMilwaukee.com - Jason Wilde

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said he believes WR Randall Cobb can be a receiver that catches at least 100 catches every season. Wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett said Cobb improved last season but still has things to work on to become more productive.

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Cobb is an explosive playmaker who can score anytime he touches the ball. He can fly around the field and make big gains off of short passes. Cobb was the 17th best fantasy WR last year and could finish in the top 15 this year. His current ADP is WR9 and he's coming off the board at 3.09.

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PIT - Talking deal with WR Emmanuel Sanders

Source: NFL.com - Marc Sessler

The Pittsburgh Steelers have opened talks with WR Emmanuel Sanders about a long-term deal.

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The Steelers need to find a way to get a deal done with Sanders. They matched the Patriots restricted free agent offer and Sanders is thus on a one-year deal worth $2.5MM. With Mike Wallace (Dolphins) moving on in free agency we'll see Sanders get a big opportunity as the Steelers WR2. With is durability issues we'll see the Steelers cautiously approach this negotiation.

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KC - TE Tony Moeaki won't return until July

Source: The Associated Press

Kansas City Chiefs TE Tony Moeaki (knee) is unlikely to be on the practice field until training camp in July. Moeaki has been watching from the sidelines during organized team activities this week.

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Moeaki just can't stay healthy. His injury history reads like War and Peace. It's long, storied, and goes back to his days in college. This opens the door for rookie TE Travis Kelce. A favorite of Matt Waldman, Kelce has smooth acceleration and gets into his route quickly. He does a good job of coming back to the football and boxing out smaller defenders away from the football.

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IND - RB Delone Carter recovering from surgery

Source: The Indianapolis Star - Mike Chappell

Indianapolis Colts RB Delone Carter (shoulder) has not been participating in organized team activities because of recent shoulder surgery.

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Carter's spot on the roster isn't guaranteed this year. He needs to get healthy and prove his value as a reserve running back behind Vick Ballard and Donald Brown. Carter will have to beat out guys like rookie Kerwynn Williams (Utah State) and veteran Deji Karim for the third spot on the depth chart.

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PHI - TE James Casey to be used in multiple spots

Source: NFL.com - Marc Sessler

Philadelphia Eagles FB James Casey, who was used primarily as a fullback for the Houston Texans, is expected to be used all over the place in head coach Chip Kelly's 'Joker' offense. Casey had 34 catches last year, but he caught 111 passes in his final season at Rice.

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Casey needed a fresh start and gets one with the Eagles. He never quite played up to his potential with the Texans but still has upside. We'll see if Casey can become a favorite target in this passing game. He's position versatile and can line up anywhere in the formation.

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PHI - TE James Casey has surgery

Source: ESPN.com

Philadelphia Eagles FB James Casey (knee) underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Thursday, May 23, and he's expecting to be back at practice in two weeks. The team expects Casey to be ready for training camp.

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Casey has an opportunity to be involved in this Chip Kelly offense more than he was utilized in Houston. He needs to get healthy, stay healthy, and show that he can be more than just an athletic freak. Casey has the size, versatility, and athleticism to create mismatches when he's on the field. He needed a fresh start and is an interesting TE to keep an eye on for fantasy owners in deep leagues.

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DET - WR Nate Burleson has shed weight

Source: MLive.com - Anwar Richardson

Updating a previous report, Detroit Lions WR Nate Burleson (leg) showed quickness during organized team activities (OTAs) Wednesday, May 22. He has also lost weight, dropping from 198 to 192 pounds to add speed.

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The Lions are looking to Burleson to pick up the slack in the passing game behind superstar Calvin Johnson. He could be in line for 50-60 catches this season as their WR2. His targets should decline when Ryan Broyles is fully healthy.

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DAL - Two battling for No. 3 WR job

Source: DallasCowboys.com - Bryan Broaddus

Dallas Cowboys WR Dwayne Harris is considered the front-runner for the No. 3 wide receiver job behind WRs Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, and it is believed WR Terrance Williams will need a strong training camp to supplant him.

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Harris isn't the downfield, big play weapon that the rookie Williams is. However, Harris has great run after the catch ability and sharp moves in the open field.

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ARI - CB Tyrann Mathieu signed

Source: NFL.com

The Arizona Cardinals have signed third-round draft choice FS Tyrann Mathieu to a four-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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The 'Honey Badger' is a feisty nickel cornerback with the athleticism to stick with slot receivers underneath or down the field. He plays with an aggressive style and is always looking to make the big play. Mathieu can also make plays as a return man on special teams because of his speed, elusiveness, and quickness.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being a part of the Footballguys Family. We'll see you tomorrow with the update.

Peace,

J